Ofir Dagan

@ofirdagan

The crowd-wisdom challenge

Flax seed jar

In 1906 a british scientist named Francis Galton went to a country fair where he saw a weight judging contest for a large ox. The participants paid money to put their wagers and try their luck guessing the ox weight. A total of 800 people took place in the contest. Of course none of them have guessed the correct weight of the ox. Some of them were way off either underestimating or overestimating the ox weight but what Francis found out was nothing less than amazing. He found that the median of the answers was 1207 pounds which was accurate within 1% of the true weight of 1198 pounds. I read about Francis’s findings recently and found it pretty impressive and so I decided to do a small experiment of my own… Let’s see if the crowd wisdom works on guessing the number of flax seeds in a jar. Above is a picture of my flax seed jar. I put it next to a glass so you’ll be able to grasp its size. I’ve also created a very simple form where you can add your guess. Please don’t write your guess in the comments.

https://goo.gl/forms/SfYJbEtTmbIBiMgM2

I’ll post the answer in a few days once enough people will guess. The key here is crowd so feel free to share this post among your friends if you’re curious like me to find out if crowd-wisdom really works :)

Update 3/18/2017

Read all about the experiment’s results here.

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